26 Splash pads and water parks in Bristol

Need some respite when Bristol swelters in a heatwave? Stay cool with lidos, fountains, a marine lake, splash pads and outside water play in and around the city. Here are 26 water parks in Bristol (and nearby!) to visit when the temperature rises.

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Water parks in Bristol

Millennium Square, Bristol

Millennium Square has its own little water park outside We The Curious (Bristol’s excellent interactive science centre) and its giant disco ball. There are fountains and water features galore – perfect for splashing in on a hot day and staying cool in the heat in Bristol. Pitch up and paddle – there’s plenty of space for little ones to go nuts – just check the water beforehand, these are city centre fountains after all.

Millennium Square Fountains water park, Bristol
Millennium Square Fountains water park, Bristol Harbourside

Water fountains at Cascade Steps

Just round the corner from Millennium Square, the outdoor water fountains at Cascade Steps are also fun for a kiddo splash-about.

These are city centre water features, so people are urged to check for dangerous or sharp objects before entering or allowing children to go into the water, and consider wearing footwear as a further precaution. However, the fountains are checked, treated and cleaned regularly.

You’re right next to the Floating Harbour here and Bristol Ferry Boat pontoon, so afterwards you could take to deeper water and pootle around the Harbourside.

Cascade Fountains, outdoor water play, Bristol city centre

Cribbs Water Garden

Cribbs Summer Water Garden is the perfect place to splash around in hot weather. The free Bristol splash park will thrill little ones with its bubble machines, splash streams and wooden pirate ship. Find it outside the front of Cribbs Causeway Shopping centre near the fountain.

Play in the Bay, The Wave Bristol

The Wave Bristol is a state-of-the-art surfing lagoon located just outside the city in Easter Compton. Offering perfect surf all year round, and boasting as many rideable waves in one hour as you would get during eight hours in the sea, it has been luring beginner surfers as well as intermediates and pro surfers since it opened in 2019. You’ll need to book a lesson or session in advance if you want to ride the waves here, otherwise spectators can pay £2 to watch from the (very lovely) cafe.

If your kids are too small to surf, let them splash around in the shallows with The Wave’s 1-hour Play in the Bay sessions. Bodyboards and water aids are allowed and it’s suitable for all ages (although under 8s must be accompanied by an adult at the ratio of 1 adult per child). They’ve also just opened a brand new playground which looks fandabbydocious.

And, if it’s calm, open water swimming you’re into, The Wave now offer swimming sessions up and down the channel of the lake (nearest to the pier), without the waves.

The Wave Bristol

Lido in St Andrews Park, Bristol

St Andrews is one of Bristol’s loveliest parks – a classic Victorian landscaped park with a fantastic playground for kids, including a large sand pit. The park comes into its own in summer and families flock to the large, free paddling pool for young’uns to splash about in.

There’s plenty of grass to picnic on, gorgeous old trees for shade and when ice cream sellers aren’t wandering the pathways there’s a charming little kiosk at its centre where you can get refreshments to cool your innards down.

St Andrews park lido

Water parks in Bristol

Swimming at The Lido Bristol

I’ve heard more than one person describe being at The Lido in Bristol, ‘like being on holiday’. And I agree, the place oozes such chilled vacation vibes, that even on a dreary day, you can be transported to the sparkling waters of foreign climes.

Come summer, it’s the perfect place to chill out and stay cool in the heat in Bristol. The low-chlorine, open-air, infinity-style pool is heated year-round (but still feels refreshing on a hot day). Victorian-esque dressing rooms run down one side, a pool-side restaurant serving delectable tapas, cooling cocktails and a la carte upstairs, the other.

Non-members can pre-book a 2 hour session (swim, sauna, steam and hot tub) for £25 starting from 10am, booking slots are open every hour until 3pm (max of 4 people per time slot). This is now available 7 days a week.

Kids can join their parents in the swimming pool between 2pm and 4pm during the non-member swim sessions (Mon-Fri 1pm-4pm). All under-18’s must be accompanied in the pool on a one to one basis. £7.50 per child aged 4-17, or free for children aged 3 and under (swimming nappy required). Afterwards, whiling the afternoon away with your poolside Alhambra beer should swell the soul. The sauna, steam room and hot tub are not available for children’s use.

The lido, outdoor swimming pool, Bristol
The lido Bristol, outdoor swimming pool

Hengrove playground

It might seem a little elusive, snuck away behind Cineworld and Frankie & Bennie’s, but lo and behold, Bristol’s biggest free kids’ playground comes with sand and water play aimed at younger children. You can see a map of the facilities here.

There’s also a 12m high climbing dome with a gigantic twirling slide, plus a hamster wheel for older kids, swings, a zip line, tyre see saw, boat-style slides and a play garden with wooden bridges and tunnels.

Hengrove playground water park in Bristol

West Country Water Park, Bradley Stoke

At the newly-opened West Country Water Park, you’ll find water-based activities like lake swimming, a floating inflatable obstacle course, paddleboarding, kayaking and jet skiing as well as go karts, a café, shop, equipment hire centre and more activities.

Water parks near Bristol

Water play at Avon Valley Wildlife Park

As well as the sand and water play area, Summertopia! sees a giant slip n slide, huge paddling pool and foam party come to Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park (13 July – 1 September 2024). There’s also a huge paddling pool, a foam party to end every day, plus a massive family water fight on 1 August, a new climbing tower, all the usual rides, adventure playgrounds, attractions, indoor soft play and dinosaur valley.⁠

Portishead open-air pool

For a bit of relief in the sweltering heat, head a few miles out of Bristol, to Portishead (where the famous band got their name) to a picturesque spot overlooking the Bristol Channel. Portishead lido is a large open-air pool heated by green energy with a non-slip, shallow toddler pool alongside for little ones to cool down in.

Amphitheatre-style steps make the most of the view and are a great sunbathing spot when you’re not wallowing in the water. There’s also a tuck shop and onsite cafe for snacks, or bring your own for a picnic by the sea.

Portishead open-air pool
Portishead open air pool near Bristol

Clevedon Marine Lake

A short hop down the M5 from Bristol and you’ll reach the charming Victorian seaside town of Clevedon. Famous for its historic pier, a huge draw for water lovers is the 15,000m² marine lake (fed by the Bristol Channel) for cooling off hot bods. Visitors can also hire boats, ‘zorb’, paddleboard and canoe atop its waters.

Clevedon Marine Lake - just off the
Clevedon Marine Lake
Clevedon marine lake near Bristol

Greyfield Woods and Waterfall, High Littleton

This local woodland was once part of the Earl of Warwick’s hunting estate, and then became part of local coal mining activity. These days it’s great for adventurous families who want to get back to nature and experience a bit of wild swimming and outdoor water play. From the parking area, it’s a short walk through beautiful countryside to a shaded shallow stream and waterfall.

Greyfield Woods and Waterfall, High Littleton

WWT Slimbridge Welly Boot Land

Whether you’re an avid twitcher or a bird-loving tot, WWT Slimbridge is a fantastic, wildlife-filled day out. Spring brings newborn ducklings, cygnets and goslings around the centre, summer is perfect for splashing around in the outdoor splash pad, Welly Boot Land (although if you take wellies and a puddle suit, it’s great during colder months too!) 

A shallow streams wiggle its way around a wooden obstacle course, through soft green astroturfed ground and alongside slides and roundabouts. Waterwheels, bridges and fountains make this a one of the best watery playgrounds we’ve experienced. Top tip – pack a floating device to take with you and you’ll be the envy of all other parents there.

For more waterborne fun, there’s also a kilometre-long canoe safari (extra fee payable) where you can explore areas of the wetlands that aren’t accessible on foot. Spot water voles, dragonflies, kingfishers and more!

Slimbridge Welly Boot land
Slimbridge Welly Boot Land

Mundy Playing Fields, Thornbury

A big park with play equipment including a water spray area, toilets and a small stream babbling alongside. During peak times there’s usually an ice-cream van to please the crowds.

Warleigh Weir, Claverton

It’s estimated up to 500 swimmers a day visit this 100m long weir near Bath (30 minutes’ drive from Bristol) during the summer. Considered one of the UK’s best wild swimming spots, there’s a leat where people take inflatables, shallow paddling areas above the weir and play areas under the weir near the bank. Just be sure to take your rubbish away with you!

Cattle Country Adventure Park Splash Pool

This kids’ park has a farm theme and is home to animals, assault courses, jumping pillows, play barns, trampolines and a splash pool. The splash pool is available from May half term until September and is a great way for kids to cool off of after racing around the adventure park. For those that adore being close to the water on a hot day, there’s also a boating lake, with canoes available for hire.

Brean Splash Pad 

Brean Splash Waterpark is located on the North Somerset coast, at Brean Leisure Park near Burnham-On-Sea. It’s about an hour’s drive from Bristol, but if you’re looking for an outdoor splash pad on a scorching hot day, then it’s worth the journey.

There’s an outdoor seaside water play area for under 12s made up of three water slides and a shallow pool, plus three super outdoor water slides for older kiddos and a sunbathing area.

If the weather should dramatically change, or you want to shelter from the sun, there’s an indoor splash pool with even more water slides (and a soft pool surface), a large indoor swimming pool and heated baby pool.

Full an action-packed day out, combine with Brean Play next door – the region’s largest soft play area for children. Or pop across the car park to Brean Theme Park, which has 40 rides including roller coasters and log flume rides.

Open from Whitsun-end of August.

Water Adventure Play Park, Weston-Super-Mare

This seasonal water park (normally open from mid-April to September) sits on Weston-super-Mare seafront next to a large play area. Kiddos will love the aquatic playground with sprinklers, fountains and sprays triggered by sensors and buttons.

Expect shrieks of delight as little ones try and dodge the rain shower. Located next to Melrose Car Park.

Weston-super-Mare Water splash park
Weston-super-Mare Water splash park

Weston Marine Lake

I didn’t realise until April 2023 that Weston-super-Mare had a marine lake, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Over 200m long, it’s located on the seafront next to Knightstone Island and is a safe place to swim, splash, float or paddle and you don’t have to wait until high tide.

When the tide is in, the effect is that of a gigantic infinity lake – one of the largest of its kind in the world! There’s also a sandy beach around the edge and a lakeside fresh water shower, making it the perfect place to take little ones for some wild swimming on a hot day.

Weston Marine Lake, Weston-super-Mare
Weston Marine Lake, Weston-super-Mare
Weston Marine Lake, Weston-super-Mare
Weston Marine Lake

Victoria Park Splash Pad, Cardiff

The water park in Victoria P​ark has oodles of splash-tastic water features for kids which are spread out across three zones designed for toddlers, juniors and families. Due to the pandemic, the number of children allowed to use the facility is limited to a maximum of 50 at any one time. During peak and busy times, twenty-five minute time slots will be in operation.

Victoria Park Splash park

Splash pad at Cyfarthfa Castle

Just over an hour away from Bristol, perched high on a hill in the Welsh Valleys, is the castellated mansion, Cyfarthfa Castle, near the town of Merthyr Tydfil. It might seem like a long way to go to find a water park, but there’s so much for families to do onsite, it’s perfect for a day trip from the city.

The beautiful grounds, filled with immaculate flower gardens, green fields, woodland and lakes, stretch out over 65 hectares, and there’s an animal sculpture trail (ask at reception) to motivate kids to explore.

Within the parkland is an outdoor splash pad, located within sight of the Canolfan Cyfarthfa’s café – check ahead for opening times as seasonal timetables do apply.

Once kiddos have frolicked in the water to their heart’s content, there’s also a miniature train to ride (seasonal opening times apply) which skirts the lake, museum, adventure playground, bowls, golf and tennis courts.

Splash pad at Cyfarthfa Castle, Wales
Splash pad at Cyfarthfa Castle, Wales
Cyfarthfa castle, wales
Splash pad at Cyfarthfa Castle, Wales

Shepton Mallet Lido

Eco-friendly Shepton Mallet Outdoor Pool dates back to the 1950s but was refurbished in 2006, and is warmed using recycled heat from the Brother’s Cider factory next door! The lido is great for kids as it has a toddler pool, fountains and water jets to play in, plus a children’s play area on the grass.

Greenbank swimming pool, Street

Greenbank swimming pool is my new favourite place to take the kids for a splash around. Along with a shallow pool and its little water slide, there’s a big swimming pool for adults and older kids, a mini splash pool, and a water play area with fountains that’s soft and squishy underfoot (so little ones won’t hurt themselves like falling on concrete). Plus the water is BALMY!

Be warned though, in hot weather, and with summer holidays imminent, this pool does get busy. Definitely pack a picnic to eat on the lawns after you’ve been for a dip, otherwise you’re right in the middle of Street, with plenty of cafes and Clarks Village next door.. Around an hour’s drive from Bristol.

Greenbank Swimming pool Street Somerset

John Coles Park, Chippenham

A beautiful green space in the heart of Chippenham, this park’s splash pad uses non-chlorinated water, caters for children under 12 and is open from May – September.

Cotswolds Water Park

Based around a lake with a soft sandy beach, this outdoor water park near Cirencester has a swimming and paddling lagoon, watersports, a giant inflatable AquaVenture for older kids, SUP, kayaking, pedalos, boat rides and more! Don’t worry if you don’t have your own kit – you can hire everything onsite.

Book ahead to avoid disappointment as entry tickets will sell out on hot days. Around an hour’s drive from Bristol.

Sandford Parks Lido, Cheltenham

This heated outdoor swimming resort with a sauna and cafe in the heart of Cheltenham is one of 98 remaining lidos in the UK and one of the biggest outdoor pools (50m) in the country. Kids love it especially for its water slides, children’s pool and paddling pool. Basketball, volleyball and table tennis are also available, included in the entrance charge. Book ahead online to avoid disappointment.

Around an hour’s drive from Bristol.

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  • Anisa
    June 30, 2018

    Lots of great options! I love when you can wade in the fountains it is just so fun and the lake looks lovely. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  • Sara
    June 30, 2018

    All of these options look lovely to me! We’ve been experiencing quite a bit of heat this summer, and whenever I see fountains, I have the overwhelming urge to run through them. I think it’s frowned upon if you’re not a child though. 😉

  • Annabel
    June 30, 2018

    Wow, so much choice! We were in Bristol over half term, such a great city. I’d love to take the kids to We the Curious, it sounds great. #Theweeklypostcard

  • Anda
    July 1, 2018

    A lot of choices here! I’ve never been in Bristol, so it was great to read about it a little. It must be awful in the city when it’s hot! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  • Great mini guide! I’ve still not been to the lido, must check it out! #MondayEscapes

  • Oh you’ve got loads of fab ideas here! My kids love fountains and splash parks, but I think I love the look of the Lido

  • Brilliant suggestions. I’d love to try paddle boarding but I lack all coordination!. My girls tried to cool off in the fountains in Millennium Square in April…they are keen 🙂 #MondayEscapes

  • Elizabeth (Wander Mum)
    July 5, 2018

    Great tips! With this heatwave continuing, we’re all in need of a cool down. Id love to chill out by the lido – looks great! Thanks for linking #citytripping